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Westhaven Community – 2022 Annual Report – Chaplain Bryan Latchaw
Located in Boone, IA, Westhaven Community is “A ministry of the Evangelical Free Church” which strives to be a premier Christ-centered facility with an emphasis on each individual’s spiritual, medical, social, dietary, emotional, and family care needs. Westhaven Community is dedicated to providing our residents with the highest practicable quality care, support, and services that allow each individual to feel loved and comfortable in a clean home-like community-oriented environment. We offer a holistic approach in which each resident is treated with dignity, respect, and sensitivity.
The Chapel and spiritual cares ministry centers around the grace-based Biblical core values of loving God first and best and loving our neighbor as ourselves. The Bible is read and taught and the Gospel is shared in every setting of pastoral care. By God’s grace, I strive to offer a Christlike presence in every setting.
This calendar year has seen loosened Covid protocols (by late Spring) which has allowed more freedom in group gatherings and family visitation opportunities. This is indeed an answer to prayer!
In our weekly Chapel services, I have taught through The Psalm 23, the Lord’s Prayer, several of Jesus’ parables, Zechariah, and Advent. Each Sunday, we sing, read the Scriptures, pray, recite creeds, and hear the Bible taught. We observe the Lord’s Supper on the first Sunday of each month. This year, we initiated sacred music concerts as a part of our Sunday worship (6-8 times a year).
Each week we offer spiritually oriented opportunities for residents. These include Bible studies, prayer (individual and group), and hymns sings. I also provide printed devotionals and prayer folders which are distributed weekly. I make regular hospital visits to our residents and staff and have opportunities to officiate memorial services as needed. We hold an in-house memorial service each month to honor residents who have passed.
I am privileged to visit room to room engaging each resident through relational pastoral care. These visits include many of the following elements: conversations regarding spiritual matters, Bible reading, prayer, counseling, distribution of devotionals and prayer guides, singing, as well as learning about their background, family, hobbies, life history…and much more.
There is an abundance of opportunities to provide relational pastoral care to the families of residents and employees. I continue to cultivate relationships in these areas.
One of the great opportunities which has improved “post-Covid” is the ability to meet and develop relationships with area clergy. It is vital that I partner with the clergy of our residents and several provide regular pastoral care. We have 2-3 clergy that provide church services/devotionals and individual visits on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
The Chapel fund supports several missionaries, mission agencies, and charitable organizations (including annual support of 4 orphans in the Congo [DRC] – through Global Fingerprints, and support for 10 pastors in Liberia and Guinea). This fund also serves as a means to meet individual needs of our employees, community, and EFCA pastors/ministries. These funds are provided solely by the sacrificial and generous giving of our residents.
In November 2022, I was privileged to travel to Liberia and Guinea, West Africa to train pastors and leaders of 14 Life Chapel International Churches. On this particular trip, I partnered with S.W.I.M. (Safe Water International Ministries out of New Sharon, IA) who specialize in world-wide training to equip people in areas without clean water. In addition, I raised funds to provide for significant needs: rice for pastor’s families, Bibles for churches, study Bibles for pastors, and a motorcycle for a pastor…as well as other needs.
Please partner with me in prayer for our residents, employees, managers, community, and Board of Directors. Please specifically pray for an ability to recruit volunteers for the Chapel and Activities Departments. Covid protocols have greatly impacted our pool of volunteers and our ability to recruit. One of my goals in 2023 is to focus on area churches and civic organizations to rebuild this invaluable asset (which includes visits from area school children).
There are many ways you and your church family can be involved in praying for and supporting Westhaven Community. I would covet the opportunity to share more with you. If you know of any families considering care for their loved ones, please do not hesitate to call. Also, please contact me if you have any questions.
I continue to be an active part of First Free Men’s Group and meet monthly with EFCA pastors in Ames as well as meeting with other Chaplains in the Iowa EFCA network.
I am thankful to be upheld by your continued prayers!
Humbled by and grateful for His grace,
Rev. Bryan Latchaw
515-432-1393, ext. 244 (office)